• The Air Force has reactivated a flight test squadron to take on testing of the next-generation bomber. Credit: Graphic courtesy of the Air Force
     The Air Force has reactivated a flight test squadron to take on testing of the next-generation bomber. Credit: Graphic courtesy of the Air Force

Reactivated Squadron at Edwards AFB to Test B-21 Raider

October 10, 2019
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
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The 420th Flight Test Squadron will be assessing the Air Force’s new bomber.


Air Force leaders at Edwards Air Force Base in California held a reactivation ceremony on October 4 for the 420th Flight Test Squadron, which will fall under the Air Force Test Center's 412th Test Wing. Notably, the squadron will be conducting analysis of flight and ground testing of the service’s next-generation bomber, the B-21 Raider, a key future weapon system for multidomain operations.

Northrop Grumman, which is crafting the B-21 Raider, claims that the advanced aircraft’s uncommon range, payload and survivability will make it “capable of penetrating the toughest defenses to deliver precision strikes anywhere in the world.” Northrop Grumman, which is working on the bomber with industry partners—including BAE Systems, Collins Aerospace, GKN Aerospace, Janicki, Pratt and Whitney, and Spirit Aerosystems—has built the first flight test aircraft version of the B-21.

The reconvened 420th Flight Test Squadron, in conjunction with the service’s Rapid Capabilities Office, will help usher the bomber to the manufacturing stage. The squadron had last operated in 2007 as an Air Force Reserve Command component under its 413 Flight Test Group.

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